From “Tulipa Clusiana: The Lady Tulip” in Some Flowers by Vita Sackville-West:
“Clusiana is said to have travelled from the Mediterranean to England in 1636, which, as the first tulips had reached our shores about 1580, is an early date in tulip history. [She] takes her name from Carolus Clusius (or Charles de Lecluse) who became Professor of botany at Leiden in 1593….
“Her native home will suggest the conditions under which she likes to be grown: a sunny exposure and a light rich soil. If it is a bit gritty, so much the better. Personally I like to see her springing up amongst grey stones, with a few rather stunted shrubs of Mediterranean character to keep her company: some dwarf lavender, and the grey-green cistus making a kind of amphitheatre behind her while some creeping rosemary spreads a green mat at her feet….
“A grouping of this kind has the practical advantage that all its members enjoy the same treatment as to soil and aspect, and, being regional compatriots, have the air of understanding one another and speaking the same language. Nothing has forced them into an ill-assorted companionship.”
From “Tulip” in Collected Poems, 1939-1989 by William Jay Smith:
A slender goblet wreathed in flame,
From Istanbul the flower came
And brought its beauty, and its name.
Now as I lift it up, that fire
Sweeps on from dome to golden spire
Until the East is all aflame:
By curving petals held entire
In cup of ceremonial fire,
Magnificence within a frame.
This is the second of two post featuring photographs of Lady Tulips (Tulipa clusiana) that I took at Oakland Cemetery’s gardens a few weeks ago. The first post is Tulipa clusiana: The Lady Tulip (1 of 2); and my previous red tulip posts are Some Time with Red Tulips (1 of 2) and Some Time with Red Tulips (2 of 2).
Sometimes I’m easily amused, such as when I post photographs of tulips in front of a gray stone, then get lucky enough to find a quotation (like the one from Vita-Sackville West above) that describes tulips among gray stones — w00t!
Thanks for taking a look!